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Blues now on home straight

Leinster moved beyond 60 points for the first time since January 2006 as Matt O'Connor's tenure continued to gather pace in the PRO12 League.

The champions are within touching distance of a home semi-final on the back of a nine-try 62-7 rout of a disappointing Benetton Treviso at the RDS last night.

"It is a huge advantage, the home advantage. We were on the wrong end of it in the Heineken Cup quarter. It makes such a difference," said O'Connor.

"That's a tangible thing that we're looking at, that we make sure that we control what happens to us and we don't leave it in the hands of the opposition."

There was tenacity in the clear-out at ruck from the outset to go with the early tempo, centre Noel Reid showing up well, to create the pressure that coughed up a penalty dispatched by Jimmy Gopperth.

Leinster's miscommunication at the restart invited pressure, fuelled by Treviso's quick feed at a lineout. This came to nothing when Luke McLean spilled the pill.

The effective aggression of Jordi Murphy in defence was soon complemented by the openside taking an inside ball from Rob Kearney for the opening try in the 10th minute.


It wasn't long before Treviso found themselves behind their posts again as hooker Sean Cronin seized on a misdirected throw to outpace the flat-footed Italians, Gopperth extras taking Leinster out to 15-0 in the 16th minute.

They were really beginning to find their feet when centre Christian Loamanu collided in mid air with Zane Kirchner in what was reviewed as a fair challenge before Christian Loamanu was carried off as a precaution.

It could have led to disruption. It didn't. Darragh Fanning was twice prominent off his wing, popping the ball up to the onrushing Devin Toner. A snappy recycle put Cian Healy in position to smash through the door. Gopperth converted as Murphy retired with a shoulder injury.

The bonus point was tied down when Gopperth attacked the inside shoulder of a drifting Mat Berquist and Kirchner appeared to ghost through unattended. Game over.

Well, not quite. Leinster got into a pickle, quickly turning attack into defence. Treviso executed a smart lineout-maul to convince referee Neil Paterson of a penalty try, converted by Berquist, and a yellow card to Isaac Boos was warranted to leave it 29-7 at the interval.

The intention to refocus was temporarily lost during the intake of oranges as Leinster fumbled the ball back over their own line and Kearney had to be vigilant to hold Tobias Botes up over the whitewash. Prop Jack McGrath wasn't on long before he was binned for careless use of the boot coming through a ruck. Leinster may have been a man down. But, they were soon five more points up, Dominic Ryan sweeping over on the right.

A sweet set play off a lineout put replacement Luke McGrath outside the grasp of Giovanni Maistri and into a two-on-one which the scrum-half exploited to send Reid hurrying home.

Number eight Jamie Heaslip's cutback flummoxed Michele Campagnaro, McGrath sniped for his first Leinster try and Reid went in for his second and the team's ninth at the death.